Patricia Cornwell film adaptation finds scribe

Kerry Williamson to pen Scarpetta script; Angelina Jolie stars

They say the pen can be as sharp as a scalpel.

Screenwriter Kerry Williamson is wielding hers to adapt a feature screenplay featuring medical examiner Kay Scarpetta, star of the best-selling mystery series written by Patricia Cornwell. Fox 2000 picked up the rights to the books in April with Angelina Jolie on board to star.

Mark Gordon, who pursued the rights after Columbia let them expire, is producing the project with Media Talent Group's Geyer Kosinski, Jolie's manager. Bryan Zuriff will serve as executive producer on the project.

The Scarpetta movie could be the launch of another potential franchise for Jolie because there are 17 Scarpetta novels. Putnam published Cornwell's most recent, "The Scarpetta Factor," in October.

Williamson's thriller screenplay will draw from the world and characters Cornwell has created but not from any novel's specific plot.

The Gersh-repped Williamson has her adapted script "Fork in the Road" in development with director Alexander Payne at Fox Searchlight and "Breaking the Bank," from an L. Jon Wertheim-penned Sports Illustrated article, set up with director Darren Aronofsky at his Protozoa Pictures.